BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review

Performance Testing and Conclusion

BitFenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller Review

 

Performance Testing and Conclusion 

BitFenix have already made a name for themselves not only by offering quality products at decent prices but by offering the consumer something perhaps a little bit different. We still remember the first BitFenix products to come through our hands here at OC3D and can reflect on how well made we thought they were. We're pleased to say that unlike so many firms (and not just PC hardware manufacturers) as the company has grown they haven't let their quality standards slip.

So why all this talk of quality? Well in today's age of austerity we want to be sure that our hard earned £££ is buying us a decent product, and not some pile of crap that will fall apart in a few weeks. This applies to even the cheapest and least significant of our purchases. And this is where the Hydra Pro comes in. It's only £25. Yes I know you can get fan controllers for less than that, but if that's what you're thinking then you obviously haven't cottoned on to the point i'm trying to make here. At just £25 you're close to the very bottom of the fan controller price band however for the money you're still getting a 5 channel fan controller, built to high quality standards and finished in soft touch plastic. It's able to control compatible LED fans as well as offering 30W per channel meaning multiple fans can be strung together, or even used to power a WC rig. Combine these main points with generous cable lengths and simple operation and you've got a winning formula.

In conducting a review it's important to find good and bad alike in a product. Sometimes this is easier than others either because the product is very bad, or in this case because the product is very good. In cases such as this finding fault can often feel like nit picking, but nit pick we must if we want to be fair and even. For us, the gun metal sliding control knobs both look and feel to be the weak point of the controller. They don't feel as sturdy as perhaps they could and don't have the soft touch coating, which would have been nice, especially as this is the bit you will be touching. Now don't go thinking this is a major fault, it's not, remember we said we were being picky here, and remember this is a £25 controller after all. On the plus side, as they are sliders as opposed to knobs, you're not going to have any problems fouling case front doors.

If the Hydra Pro does have a real problem it's that the there are an awful lot of very good fan controllers that cost only £5-£10 more than it, including a whole raft of Scythes and the soon to be reviewed BitFenix Recon which offers remote control via a web attached device for just £5 more.

If you're strapped for cash then the Hydra Pro represents one of the best fan controllers you can buy for the money. If however you can stretch just that little bit further then a hole world of options opens up to you. That said, I still think you might find yourself being drawn back to the Hydra Pro as it is plain and simple a cracking little 5 channel fan controller.

 

       

Thanks to BitFenix for the Hydra on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums. 

«Prev 1 2 3 4 Next»

Most Recent Comments

31-08-2012, 05:54:08

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...115926373l.jpg

Able to handle 30W and control 5 channels, the Hydra Pro forms part of the new range of fan controllers from BitFenix

Continue Reading

31-08-2012, 08:51:05

AverageNinja
Great review!
Looks good in the CM Storm Trooper

31-08-2012, 10:16:11

Pholostan
I have one of those. Cheap, simple and sturdy enough. I've used it for a moth or so. No problems, works as advertised.

31-08-2012, 13:36:06

ruairi.C
^So how did it work with the moths? :P jk

02-09-2012, 08:51:00

Pholostan
Oh hilarious. And there is no way to edit? Oh well.

02-09-2012, 13:42:49

Master&Puppet
Looks good to me - I was in the market for a fan controller with at least 4x 20w channels. I ended up getting the Lamptron touch which I really like but it is nice to have more alternatives and this looks good at a much lower price.

02-09-2012, 15:54:22

wassupdoc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pholostan View Post
Oh hilarious. And there is no way to edit? Oh well.
haha it did make me giggle that, we do like to jest the newbies :P you'll be able to soon

03-09-2012, 11:38:23

Pholostan
Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupdoc View Post
haha it did make me giggle that, we do like to jest the newbies :P you'll be able to soon
The spell checker isn't smart enough to know what I mean

Anyway, the fan controller is a steal for the price. Sure, no fancy functions, but basic good ones. It can handle one of those monster 1,6 amp Delta fans just fine.

08-09-2012, 00:24:36

CPMFW
great review as usual...
i really like the simple look of it.

15-11-2012, 20:00:44

Whaler_99
I have one question on this as I contemplate my new build. Hopefully someone will have an idea...

Will be using a NZXT Switch 810 White. So, I have the issue of the front fan on my 360 rad being blocked by the plate in the 5.25" cage (As TTL shows in his review). I am planning to dremel out a bit of that to allow unrestricted airflow. But, with this fan controller, I wonder if it would fit in that 5.25 bay partially taken up by the rad and fan. Then just tuke all the wires in behind. I am wondering if the PCB board and connectors would have enough space. Be great use of that bay.

Thanks,
Whaler

16-11-2012, 02:12:50

rossi94
I don't like the design - thanks for testing

16-11-2012, 03:19:59

Master&Puppet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whaler_99 View Post
I have one question on this as I contemplate my new build. Hopefully someone will have an idea...

Will be using a NZXT Switch 810 White. So, I have the issue of the front fan on my 360 rad being blocked by the plate in the 5.25" cage (As TTL shows in his review). I am planning to dremel out a bit of that to allow unrestricted airflow. But, with this fan controller, I wonder if it would fit in that 5.25 bay partially taken up by the rad and fan. Then just tuke all the wires in behind. I am wondering if the PCB board and connectors would have enough space. Be great use of that bay.

Thanks,
Whaler
Yea that would work - I have the lamptron touch which looks like it has a very similar profile. You should have 1-2" spare behind the fan controller's PCB to fiddle with wires. It will be a little bit tight to work with the wires whilst the radiator is in but I think it would work.

16-11-2012, 07:28:27

Whaler_99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master&Puppet View Post
Yea that would work - I have the lamptron touch which looks like it has a very similar profile. You should have 1-2" spare behind the fan controller's PCB to fiddle with wires. It will be a little bit tight to work with the wires whilst the radiator is in but I think it would work.
Thanks very much for the info!

Whaler

16-03-2013, 01:35:40

hood6558
This is very similar to the NZXT Sentry Mesh that I have installed in my 400R - same 30w specs, # of channels, and price. If it works as well as the Mesh, the Hydra should be a solid value and good enough for 95% of systems with multiple fans. I only wish that they both came with a double handful of splitters so you can use the full potential of the design. As it stands, you're only able to use 1 fan per channel, and each channel can easily handle 4 to 12 fans (typical .25 amps (Corsair AF-120 Perf. Series). So thats 12 of Corsair's highest flow/static pressure fans on each channel (.25a x 12 = 3a - each channel handles 3.75a). That's a (theoretical) total of 60 fans! Yes, I'd say these are good for large water cooling setups.

16-03-2013, 04:53:08

Master&Puppet
Quote:
Originally Posted by hood6558 View Post
I only wish that they both came with a double handful of splitters so you can use the full potential of the design. As it stands, you're only able to use 1 fan per channel, and each channel can easily handle 4 to 12 fans (typical .25 amps (Corsair AF-120 Perf. Series). So thats 12 of Corsair's highest flow/static pressure fans on each channel (.25a x 12 = 3a - each channel handles 3.75a). That's a (theoretical) total of 60 fans! Yes, I'd say these are good for large water cooling setups.
http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/...pid-11831.html

17-03-2013, 14:26:34

hood6558
Thanks for the link, these look like high quality, and the 6-into-1 is perfect for 360/420 rads in push/pull. Never saw more than 4-into-1 before this. I am now using 2 of the cheap unsleeved 2-into-1 kind that look like they could short against something if you're not careful (all that's available locally). I will order some online soon and get my rig looking a little cleaner. Thanks again!
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.